September 28, 2015

Interview with Emily Lloyd-Jones, Author of Deceptive

I'm a big fan of superheroes. I'm especially a big fan of them in young adult fiction. So I'm very honored to have Emily Lloyd-Jones on the blog today. She wrote Illusive and its sequel, Deceptive, which deal with super power-type abilities. They're very cool books.


Don't miss this thrilling, high-stakes sequel to Illusive.

You don’t belong with us. These are the words that echo through the minds of all immune Americans—those suffering the so-called adverse effects of an experimental vaccine, including perfect recall, body manipulation, telepathy, precognition, levitation, mind-control, and the ability to change one’s appearance at will.

When immune individuals begin to disappear—in great numbers, but seemingly at random—fear and tension mount, and unrest begins to brew across the country. Through separate channels, super-powered teenagers Ciere, Daniel, and Devon find themselves on the case; super criminals and government agents working side-by-side. It’s an effort that will ultimately define them all—for better or for worse.

Emily Lloyd-Jones grew up on a vineyard in rural Oregon, where she played in evergreen forests and learned to fear sheep. When she was twelve, her cousin gave her a copy of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles and triggered her lifelong addiction to genre fiction. She went on to read all the usual suspects (Tolkien, Lewis, McCaffrey etc). When she wasn't immersing herself in someone else's fantastical world, she was usually creating her own.
After graduating from Western Oregon University with an English degree, she loaded up her car, wrestled her cat into a pet carrier, and drove across the U.S. to Philadelphia. She enrolled in the publishing program at Rosemont College but spent far too much time in coffee shops working on a novel when she probably should've been writing her thesis. Once she managed to finish both, she again packed up her car (and a very disgruntled cat), and drove back to the west coast.
She currently resides in Northern California, working in a bookstore by day and writing by night. There's a lot of coffee involved. When not working, she can be found watching British television, browsing TV Tropes, or reading.  She is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
The Interview

Emma: Deceptive, which released on July 14, is the sequel to Illusive. How did the writing and publication of Deceptive differ from when that all happened for Illusive?
Emily: Writing Illusive was actually much more hectic than writing Deceptive. (Writing your debut novel while simultaneously writing your master’s thesis? I do not recommend it.) Deceptive was less of a straightforward process and more of a learning curve, but I truly enjoyed getting to know the characters better.

Emma: How did you react when you got the news Illusive was going to be published?
Emily: I put my cell phone down and went to work. No, really. I got the news in my car. I was pretty much in a happy shock. Then I promptly overcharged a customer for a newspaper because I was so frazzled.

Emma: Is there going to be a third book?
Emily: At the moment, it looks like Illusive will remain a duology. 

Emma: I'm really trying to not cry right now.

Emma: What drew you to write about super powers?
Emily: I’ve always been intrigued by how humans react to change. Typically, that change has revolved around social and—especially today—technological changes. I looked at superpowers as just another huge shift that humans would have to deal with, and that idea intrigued me. I wanted to explore how it would affect humans on a cultural and personal level.

On a shallower note, I also just really love writing action scenes and superpowers make for some good action.

Emma: Do you watch a lot of superhero TV shows/movies or read a lot of superhero books?
Emily: Not as many as you would think. I watch all of the new MCU movies in theaters, but I don’t really watch them at home. As for television, I’m more into drama or straight-up fantasy. (I’m looking forward to Reign and Once Upon a Time’s return this fall.) As for books, I try not to read too heavily in whatever sub-genre I’m currently working in, because I don’t want to be subconsciously influenced.

Emma: I know from your author bio that you work in a bookstore. How has that experience shaped your journey as an author?

Emily: I love what I do. It’s an awesome little niche to be in—working in an indie bookshop. I’m always surrounded by the written word. As I often say, by day I sell books and by night I write them. One good thing is that I’m usually clued into the latest industry news. On the other hand, it means if I want to think about something other than books, I’m utterly doomed to failure.

As an author, it’s a fascinating experience to see customers browse books. It truly drives home the need to have a book that can be easily captured in a few sentences—because that’s how long a bookseller has to pitch a book to a customer.

Also, I know which publishers have the best customer service.

Emma: What's the weirdest writing advice you've ever received?
Emily: Write what you know. It’s advice that is handed out right and left, but it always seems ridiculous to me. If I wrote what I knew, all my books would be about writers who always have cat hair on their jeans.

Rather than writing from a place of knowledge, I try to write from empathy. To put myself in my characters' lives and go from there.

Also, I research. A lot.

Emma: Any recent YA reads you want to recommend?
Emily: Two awesome and fairly recent YA books that I’d highly recommend are THE WITCH HUNTER by Virginia Boecker and THE LEVELLER by Julie Durango. Completely different books, but they’re both really fun reads.

Emma: And finally, my signature question: do you have a favorite fairytale?
Emily: One of my favorite story tropes is that of the Faustian deal, so I’d have to say Rumpelstiltskin.

Emily: Thanks for having me on your blog! :)
Emma: Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Emily!

If you'd like to find Emily elsewhere and read her books (which I highly recommend you do), here are some links!
Emily's Twitter:
Emily's Tumblr:
Emily's Instagram:
Illusive at Read Between the Lynes:
Deceptive at Read Between the Lynes:

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